Although I had been to the Happiest Place on Earth many times before, going with our kids for the first time was a emotional experience. So, as we make our final preparations, I leave you with this reflection from the last time we went:
As a child, my family made the trek to Florida about three or four times. Then, Katie and I made the trip a couple times before we had children. As wonderful, and memorable as all those trips were, they cannot compare with the experience we had when we brought all four children down for their first visit.
It did not even take fireworks to make me tear up! Since we were staying at one of the resorts, we took advantage of the Shuttle Bus service from the airport to the hotel. The bus had little tv's to keep the kids (of all ages)occupied during the trip. Then, as we approached the main gate, the bus driver turned off the monitors.
"Alright folks, here we go! Help me count down.
"Ten, nine, eight, seven..."
I looked over at my six year old son His nose was plastered to the window.
"six, five, four ..."
I thought, how cool to see the excitement in his face.
"three, two, one... WELCOME TO DISNEY WORLD!!!"
I was crying. The joy that I had remembered from my childhood. The magic of those days as a young couple, all the wonderful happy experiences that I associated with Disney World. We were going to be able to share with them as they made those experiences their own.
I could not help but wonder, "Is this how God feels? Is this the kind of joy that he feels when we are able to experience His Kingdom?"
I gave Christopher a huge hug. He looked at me, puzzled, and asked "Why are you crying?" I replied,
"Someday, you will know. Until then, promise me you will never forget this trip."
I know that I never will. I look forward to the day when, nose pressed up on the glass, I will ride into the Heavenly Kingdom and feel the embrace of God.
I just hope that the wait for Space Mountain won't be as long!